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Is underwiring really so evil? When did you switch to maternity bra!?

(54 Posts)
ClearlyMoo Sat 02-Nov-13 17:04:32

I'm 13 weeks today, and so finally embracing the fact I need to shop for maternity clothing. I was pleasantly surprised and excited about things available to wear in general but am SO depressed about bra choices. Debenhams had one bra that fitted me. My nearest Bravissimo is over an hour away (I'm quite big FF/G) and I'm loathe to make a special trip but scared to shop online because how will I know if it fits. The bra I bought makes my boobs looks SO WEIRD! Assistant convinced me it was a proper fit, but now I'm still questioning about whether I need to go wireless so soon.

I need to shop as I'm spilling out of my biggest u/w bra but can I but new underwired ones?!

Would love to hear opinions/ experiences/ recommendations of websites (either shopping or research into actual affect on milk ducts/ breast tissue.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:06:52

I will be watching this thread with interest. I'm 19 weeks and now having to admit that my bras don't fit me anymore sad I have been spilling out of them for weeks but I just didn't want to start the downhill road of shopping for maternity clothes. I know I need to get measured but have no idea where to go to even get this done.... hmm

Julietee Sat 02-Nov-13 17:08:19

Yeah, I don't know about this either. I asked a bra-fitter at mothercare and she had no idea! I don't really see how a non-wired bra that's tight is different from an underwired bra. Unless it's actually cutting into your breast tissue, is it a problem?

5madthings Sat 02-Nov-13 17:10:10

Underwires are fine as long as the bra fits well and isn't digging in.

You can get underwired pref and nursong bras, some have a softer/bendier wire I think.

purple84 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:11:18

I am also quite big usually FF but got bit bigger etc, I couldn't find any maternity/nursing bras that would support me or not give me a mono boob, so I only stopped using an underwire about 2-3 wks ago, I am 41 wks today and that was because that is when it got uncomfortable that I stopped wearing it.
I think it would probably depend on the person, if the underwire gets uncomfortable stop wearing it.

Babycino81 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:14:49

Hi, my experience with certain underwear shops meant I didn't go under wireless until the very end of my pregnancy due to being extremely uncomfortable in non underwired bras. It hasn't affected my milk supply and my 3 week old daughter is happy with my supply. I would suggest trying different bras on in different shops as I've found they all fit very differently!

Hope that's some help!

hettienne Sat 02-Nov-13 17:15:03

I'm 24 weeks and starting to get uncomfortable now. Rib cage and cup size has expanded!

susiegrapevine Sat 02-Nov-13 17:16:15

I think that a badly fitting non wired bra is better than a badly fitting wired one as they do cut in more and as your boobs are changing so much when you are pregnant its best to go with the non wired option. Plus and trust me on this one don't waste your money on bigger wired bra's cos when you get bigger bump wise there is no way you will want an underwire tbh you will be wanting to rip any bra off by the end of the day for comfort. So I would go with the non wired unless you wanna get measured every couple of weeks and keep buying new bras that you will end up not wearing cos they are just too darn uncomfy. Also when your milk comes in you will want the softest stretchest bra there is. I have found debenhams quiet good for larger maternity/nursing bra and I went up to a GG cup when bf. They do hold your boobs differently and give you a different shape and no lift but that's just how it is unless you wanna spend a fortune on bras. Hope this helps.

babybear2468 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:21:23

Im currently 10wks and at 6wks I was already a cup size larger and my normal bras made it obvious. Marks and Spencer Marble Arch were good as they recommended some comfortable non wired tee shirt bras. They also factor in that your rib cage is going to move out. I was wearing 32D and I came out of the shop with 36C (tightest fastening). They recommended going back to get fitted a few wimes leading up to pregnancy and would also do the fitting for the maternity bra nearer the time too... will be going back.

Sammie101 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:24:58

It's something to do with the wire digging into your breasts that can damage the production of milk? I'm a bra fitter and I have NO idea! That is shameful to admit.

I utterly despise maternity bras though, and nursing bras are even worse. I'm fed up of my boobs meshing into one big saggy lump of fat sad

Ellsbells32 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:25:42

I stayed in normal underwired bras throughout my pregnancy and breast feeding. Never had any problems with either. I bought some non wired bras but they made my boobs look awful and I then felt awful

Ellsbells32 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:26:04

I stayed in normal underwired bras throughout my pregnancy and breast feeding. Never had any problems with either. I bought some non wired bras but they made my boobs look awful and I then felt awful

Writerwannabe83 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:27:54

Where did you all go to get measured???

NewBlueShoesToo Sat 02-Nov-13 17:28:35

You can buy bra extenders which are much cheaper than constantly buying new bras, as long as they still fit everywhere else.
I wouldn't bother buying nursing bras until a week after the baby is born because there is no knowing your size and how much your ribs have shrunk.

FriendlyElephant Sat 02-Nov-13 17:32:06

I never wore non-wired bras when I was pregnant (I was a FF before I got pregnant, now I'm a H an bfing), and only for a week or two after DD was born (I thought I would need special nursing bras but I just didnt get on with them, so now I just sleep in them). I managed to breastfeed straight away and I've never had any problems with milk production or mastitis or anything like that.

JoinTheDots Sat 02-Nov-13 17:32:21

My midwife said change when they get uncomfy. When breast feeding you might want a non underwired nursing bra for easy access and to prevent milk getting blocked if the wire really digs in, but I think you would know if it was time to change because it would hurt.

I stayed wired til I gave birth but got new bigger bras when I needed them

Champagnebubble Sat 02-Nov-13 17:32:36

I'm 26 weeks or thereabouts and I'm still in my m&s T-shirt underwired bras, they are stretchy anyway and comfy. I think it depends on the bra. Am having to admit I need to get some new ones though now as they are getting too small! May just go for the same ones in a bigger size for now as they are sooooo comfy and not really expensive. Trying to establish what size I now am is another ball game.....confused

FrameyMcFrame Sat 02-Nov-13 17:33:26

Try marks and spencer maternity bras, they're the best support I could find without wire and I still wear mine now... and my baby is 4!
Also, I didn't really bother with the no wire thing until I was about 36 weeks, boobs do more growing yet so don't splash out too much. Getting something with a feeding clip might be a good idea too.
Good luck!

hettienne Sat 02-Nov-13 17:34:38

I always measure myself. High street stores seem to be incapable of doing it confused

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sat 02-Nov-13 17:38:38

I stayed in underwired bras till baby was born then had to wear an aah bra for 8 days till I could find a nursing bra that fitted. Eventually got a non wired one from Royce, it wasnt pretty it didn't give the best shape but at a 38k and breast feeding, I didn't have a choice it was either that or not leave the house.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:40:33

What measurements do you take hettiene and how do you turn that into a bra size??? I have a tape measure to hand smile

tgamble13 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:41:12

am 29weeks and wen i started to feel uncomfortable i moved to a seamless wireless bra with cups for shape which offered me enough support and was soo comfortable. Then about 24weeks i got fitted at mothercare for a proper maternity bra but i have found u really need to try the bras on as i measured a 38c but took a 38d for proper comfort! this week i have bought a bravimmso (sorry about the spelling) tried on a medium but went with the large for extra comfort and growing space. as the nursing and maternity bras were similar in price i just went with the nursing hoping it will do me. tbh it is better than the mothercare in comfort whereas the mothercare bras are nicer to look at. a work colleague recommends the m&s maternity bras but havent tried them personally

fruitloop84 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:49:30

I didnt. I went on to feed both of mine for a year so clearly didn't affect supply in my case. I did.buy decent nursing bras which weren't wired but had some sculpted bit that was really supportive. They were from mama something I think, sorry can't remember now.

SorrelForbes Sat 02-Nov-13 17:51:18

Underwires are fine as long as they fit properly.

You can follow the guidance here to find your bra size

hettienne Sat 02-Nov-13 17:51:41

Measure snug under your bust against rib cage in inches = band size
Lean forward and measure around widest point/nips without squishing = difference between two is cup size.

EG. pre-pregnancy I was 30" round the ribcage, 35" round nips, so a 30DD

Recently remeasured and am 32" round ribcage and 36/37" round nips = 32D/DD

You can use that as a starting point and then try a few bras on around that, as individual brands and styles vary.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:59:21

So a 5" difference is equal to a DD cup???

What inch differences are for the other cup sizes??

Julietee Sat 02-Nov-13 18:03:09

Just a heads-up that Mothercare bras were pretty shite.

SorrelForbes Sat 02-Nov-13 18:04:57

A= 1"
B = 2"
C = 3"
D = 4"
DD = 5"
E = 6"
F = 7"
FF = 8"
G = 9"
GG = 10"
H = 11"
HH = 12"
J = 13"
JJ = 14"
K = 15"

BummyMummy77 Sat 02-Nov-13 18:08:48

Underwiring is EVIL!

Actually, bras are evil. I haven't been able to wear even the most expensive, properly fitted bras for months now as he's riding high in my ribs and they don't fit let alone the pain.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sat 02-Nov-13 18:38:24

Thanks sorrell, I'm getting the measuring tape out later. grin

wispaxmas Sat 02-Nov-13 18:50:37

That linked blog is actually surprisingly good advice for measuring for an accurate bra size. The only issue is that size will also depend on brand. I'm 34GG/H/HH depending on brand!

I have never felt comfortable in non-wired bras, and I'm not going to switch until underwire becomes uncomfortable, if it does.

littleomar Sat 02-Nov-13 18:54:55

I'm being induced on Monday, still in underwires and dreading nursing bras (I've asked this before but if anyone can point me in the direction of a 30 back underwired nursing bra I will be eternally grateful).

sanityisamyth Sat 02-Nov-13 19:02:18

I'm a 34HH normally but my boobs got bigger quite early on - got a 34J and 34JJ from bravisimo and they both were fine. I'm only wearing the JJ now but it's wired and doesn't dig in. Need to get new ones soon - will get another JJ and possibly a K. They seem to fit around my ribs ok, but they may have stretched (heavy use!) so might get 36JJ.

Not planning on getting non-wired ones though - boobs and bump would merge together!! :O

SorrelForbes Sat 02-Nov-13 19:04:01

wispaxmas That blog is the work of another MNer!

Anothermrssmith Sat 02-Nov-13 19:15:58

Ladies, trust me on this one. The worst thing you can do when measuring yourself for a bra is using a tape measure! Look side on in the mirror,if your spilling out at the top you need a bigger cup. Get someone to pull the back strap,if they can stretch and stretch it you need a smaller back,if there's virtually no give in it at all you need bigger. Wrinkled cups at the a sides or loose at the top mean they're too big. I've been measured pretty much everywhere that does it and no where that uses a tape measure has ever given me a good fit (m&s are the worst by far!). Bravissimo on the other hand are the best and its all done by eye.

I'm still wearing wired bras at 28 weeks and to be honest have no intention of going to non wired. I was a hh pre bump and now up to a k and to be perfectly honest I fail to believe that my boobs won't go straight through the bottom of a non wired bra! As long as its a good fit there's no reason you shouldn't wear a bra with an underwire.

SorrelForbes Sat 02-Nov-13 19:21:33

Fitting by eye is of course the best way, but a tape measure is really useful for finding a starting point. Especially, if you've been wearing a 38B and you're actually a 30GG!

HazleNutt Sat 02-Nov-13 19:32:37

Underwiring during pregnancy and breastfeeding is totally fine. Non-wired maternity and nursing bras are the work of devil and will give you droopy, sweaty mono-boobs hanging somewhere around your bellybutton.

I bought my normal Freya and Fantasie bras in bigger sizes, got nursing bra clips from ebay and converted the bras myself. So much better, feel like human again.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 02-Nov-13 19:32:40

I will not be switching to unwired! I have large and sadly, saggy breasts. A properly fitting wired bra lifts them properly and gives decent seperation. Underwired are torture. I end up with a droopy mono boob somewhere in the direction of my belly! I get thrush underneath, sweat and spend most of the time scratching in agony!
Its underwires all the way for me!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 02-Nov-13 19:33:27

bizarre cross post! grin

HazleNutt Sat 02-Nov-13 19:33:57

ha nice cross post grin

Anothermrssmith Sat 02-Nov-13 19:38:17

hazlenutt how do you convert them? Do you have a link to some info on how to do it?

HazleNutt Sat 02-Nov-13 19:44:43
lilystem Sat 02-Nov-13 19:47:36

Make the trip to bravissimo - it's worth every penny imo

Chocolateteabag Sat 02-Nov-13 20:01:10

I've used websites like Bras and honey and bras 4 mums to order a selection of underwired bras including underwired nursing bras

this underwired one from Anita got me through bfing DS last time - I had it in black and white on a wear one wash one rotation.

If you can manage - order a few sizes on a credit card to try - if you are going to bf best to wait until milk comes in anyway around day 3-5, and you won't really want to be out shopping anywhere so an online shop will really help.

I have gone from a 32DD to 32 GG in this pregnancy, and have had few bras from eBay on my way up to here. Will keep them for the way (hopefully) back down and then sell back on eBay I think

Anothermrssmith Sat 02-Nov-13 20:16:35

That looks way easier than I expected,have a couple of old bras in my undies drawer so may have a go on an old one for practice. Failing that a friend of mine is a dress maker and could do this in 2minutes (as simple as this looks I can't see to save my life though I did hem a pair of curtains last week --using wonder web--)

ClearlyMoo Sat 02-Nov-13 20:22:57

Wow!!! MN hivemind you've done me proud. Thank you for all the answers! I usually get all my bras from Bravissimo, making a big trip and buying 4-5 at once. The problem at the mo is that I'm changing all the time. Will take advice and get my usual Freya & Fantasies in a bigger size! I might do mail order and can always return!! Thanks for all the answers.

PinkWitch803 Sun 03-Nov-13 00:07:10

Flexible underwiring allows your boobs to grow without damaging the surrounding tissue.

I am "blessed" with big knorks, and have two nursing wired and two nursing non wired.

All bought from figleaves. And the wired ones especially, do give me all the good support and shape i need without a monoboob.

BummyMummy77 Sun 03-Nov-13 02:34:39

I've got to agree with the measuring is a load of crap.

I went to a proper maternity/nursing bra store and out of the 25-30 bras I tried on only 3 fit. And they are all different sizes.

The woman fitting was great, there's no way I could have got such perfect fits on my own.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Sun 03-Nov-13 03:04:50

I only swapped after my milk came in, I went upto a h cup with ds3 and in desperation had to buy a nursing bra and it was awful, luckily I went back to ff after a couple of weeks so back to underwires. The lady in bravissimo said as long as it isn't digging in your bump etc it should be fine.

yy to converting nice bras. Saved my sanity grin

I gave birth in an underwired bra. Properly fitted, they don't touch any lactiferous tissue anyway. I only wear a soft nursing bra for the first weeks of bf.

Don't get measured at M&S - they still use the "plus four" rule.

I found that bra extenders were great for when my rib cage expanded but my boobs hadn't actually grown or moved apart.

EnidClowes Sun 03-Nov-13 11:41:01

I've just moved into non-underwired at 22wks. I've went through my bra collection and was pouring out of my larger cup sizes. Decided to move to them as they they'll last longer than wired. Am now a 34J but this bra gives me a bit of growth room. Last time I went up to 36K (maybe even a LL actually) by the end. I figured either buy nicer bras 2/3 more times before the baby is here or try and save money and maximise the wear from one size.
Bloody hate the monoboob though, so sweaty and horrible shape, constantly lifting and separating and popping myself back in properly. The curse of enormous boobs!
Def recommend bravissimo though, would never shop anywhere else for bras. It takes me over an hour to get to the nearest one and it's worth it.

emmac3616 Sun 03-Nov-13 14:51:14

I'm 34 weeks and still in my normal under-wired bras!

SorrelForbes Sun 03-Nov-13 15:53:41

Ummm, measuring isn't a load of crap! It's simply a starting point and is great for people who don't have access to a Bravissimo etc. to help them find their approximate size.

Measuring is crap when it's the old +4/5" method.

Madratlady Sun 03-Nov-13 16:08:22

I'm 29 weeks and squeezing into my pre pregnancy bras still. They aren't very comfortable but I've just not had the money to replace them (unexpected financial problems). I plan to just carry on and buy some nursing bras after xmas.

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